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MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 8/2/16

Even in a matchup with the Chicago Cubs, Jose Fernandez is still an elite pitching option Tuesday night. What other players should we target in MLB DFS?

The beauty of daily fantasy baseball is that the top targets are different each and every day. Whether it's the right-handed catcher who destroys left-handed pitching or the mid-range hurler facing a depleted lineup, you're not going to find yourself using the same assets time after time.

While this breaks up the monotony, it can make it hard to decide which players are primed to succeed on a given day. We can help bridge that gap.

In addition to our custom optimal lineups, you can check out our batting and pitching heat maps, which show the pieces in the best spot to succeed on that slate. Put on the finishing touches with our games and lineups page to see who's hitting where and what the weather looks like, and you'll have yourself a snazzy looking team to put up some big point totals.

If you need help getting started on that trek, here are some of the top options on the board today.

Pitchers to Target

High-Priced Pitchers

Jose Fernandez ($11,000 on FanDuel): In times like these, we must once again refer to our handy dandy checklist of when to use Jose Fernandez. First, is Jose Fernandez pitching? If we can answer yes, proceed to step two, which is plugging him into your lineup. His price is in the rarefied Clayton Kershaw air tonight, but it's for an absolutely valid reason. His 2.53 SIERA is now the second best in baseball behind Kershaw, and his 36.8% strikeout rate blows Kershaw's away. Even though the Chicago Cubs are a great offense, they also strikeout 22.6% of the time against righties, enough to push Fernandez over the top.

Madison Bumgarner ($11,800): It may not be easy, but you're going to want to pay up for pitching tonight. If it weren't for Fernandez, Madison Bumgarner would be the runaway top option on almost any slate for his matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies are last in the league in wRC+ against lefties and strikeout 22.9% of the time with a 6.5% walk rate. Bumgarner has juiced his swinging-strike rate up to 13.3% since the start of July, including a 14-strikeout performance just before the All-Star break. Given the matchup with the Phillies, Bumgarner may be the superior cash-game play over Fernandez.

Value Pitcher

Matt Shoemaker ($8,500): In trading Josh Reddick to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Oakland Athletics lost one of their better, low-strikeout bats against right-handed pitching. That's great news for Matt Shoemaker, who still isn't getting the respect he deserves. Since turning to a splitter-heavy approach on May 16th, Shoemaker's swinging-strike rate is 15.0% with a 3.21 SIERA. He has been even better when the Los Angeles Angels have been at home, where his strikeout rate has jumped to 35.5% in six starts. Until the price goes up, you just have to keep pounding away on this guy.

Hitters to Target

High-Priced Hitters

Buster Posey ($3,600): At first glance, Buster Posey's 12 home runs this year may seem a bit of a disappointment. However, he currently has a career-high 37.6% hard-hit rate, so we can expect that number to go up before the season expires. Tonight, Posey and the Giants are at the best spot for dingers in the league and will face Zach Eflin with his 5.18 SIERA and 11.8% strikeout rate. Although we'd prefer Posey against a lefty, his hard-hit rate is a smidge higher against righties, so feel free to pilfer this puppy tonight.

Nick Castellanos ($3,100): The shine may have worn off on Nick Castellanos' early-season destruction, but don't forget about him just yet. His hard-hit rate since the start of June is 35.3% with a 12.4% soft-hit rate, and that soft-hit rate fell to 8.5% in July. James Shields never saw a righty he couldn't let dong with a 37.5% hard-hit rate and 42.6% fly-ball rate, making Castellanos and the rest of the Detroit Tigers' big-bopping righties quality plays tonight.

George Springer ($3,900): George Springer is white-hot right now with a 41.5% hard-hit rate and 35.4% fly-ball rate the past 30 days, giving him a bit more upside than he already had in the past. Opposing starter R.A. Dickey has struggled his past three starts, and righties have struck out just 16.7% of the time against him this year. With Dickey also allowing hard contact to right-handed batters 32.5% of the time, Springer could keep on stroking it tonight.

Value Hitters

Matt Adams ($3,000): Matt Adams was built for Great American Ballpark. He has a 37.3% hard-hit rate and 51.4% fly-ball rate this year with those numbers improving to 46.3% and 61.1%, respectively, in the month of July. Cincinnati Reds starter Dan Straily has had trouble with lefties this year, seeing his strikeout rate dip to 15.5% with a 44.9% fly-ball rate. Adams tops the list of St. Louis Cardinals sticks we want, though pretty much the entire lineup is in play at a park like this.

Conor Gillaspie ($2,500): The Giants pushed Conor Gillaspie up to third in the order on Saturday when they last faced a right-handed pitcher. Although he may not hit there again tonight, it is a reflection of his solid peripherals this season. While striking out in only 13.0% of his 123 plate appearances against righties, Gillaspie has managed to post a 38.4% hard-hit rate and 41.4% fly-ball rate. With the Giants primed for a potential big performance, Gillaspie is a cheap way to get exposure at an acceptable spot in the order.

Justin Upton ($2,800): As mentioned with Castellanos, Chicago White Sox starter James Shields is a big fan of allowing hard contact to righties. That's something with which Justin Upton is abundantly familiar. His hard-hit rate is 40.0% since the start of June, and it pushed to 46.2% in the month of July. The Tigers' sticks are all fairly priced tonight, making a stack fully possible without having to scrounge at pitcher.

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